If we were to establish the etymological origin of the term zoology, we would have to determine that it comes from Greek and specifically from the sum of two words of that language. Thus, it is the result of the sum of zoon, which can be translated as “living animal”, and logos, which is equivalent to “study of”.
Taking all this into account, we also have to underline that the term as such was coined in the 17th century. More exactly, it was the naturalist Johann Sperling who established it in one of his best-known works, which would not be published until after his death: “Zoologia Physica.”
The zoology is the science dedicated to animal study. Its experts, called zoologists, are in charge of the biological taxonomy of all animal species (both existing and extinct).
Aristotle (384 BC – 322 BC) is considered the first zoologist in history to create the taxonomy. Charles Darwin (1809-1882) also made very important contributions to zoology with his theory of the evolution of species.
However, throughout history there have been other equally important figures who have left their deep traces in the field of zoology. Among those we could highlight, for example, the naturalist of French origin Georges Cuvier (1769 – 1832). And it is that he was the first of the professionals in his sector who carried out a classification of everything that was the animal kingdom.
A classification that was divided into four large animal groups: mollusks, rays, vertebrates and articulated ones. The key he used to establish this differentiation was the position of certain vital organs in their bodies, such as the heart.
It should be noted that there are various specialties linked to zoology. The zoogeography is responsible for studying the relationships between animals, their environment and geographical distribution. There are zoologists who serve as museologists and that contribute to the conservation and description of zoological collections.
The palaeozoology, on the other hand, is the division of the paleontology who studies animal fossils. Those who prevent, diagnose and cure animal diseases, on the other hand, are the veterinarians.
The set of techniques that seek the use of animals for the benefit of the man is known as zootechnics. These specialists study the reproduction of animals and the production of their derivatives (such as milk or eggs) taking into account animal welfare and the possibility of optimizing the performance of commercial farms.
The zoosFinally, they are facilities where animals are confined and exposed to the public for educational and leisure purposes. These institutions can also be dedicated to curing sick animals and conserving endangered species. Some organizations, however, question zoos on ethical grounds, as they consider that animals that could live freely in their natural habitat should not be confined.
Among the most important zoos in the world we should highlight, for example, Berlin, which has one of the largest collections of exotic animals. However, San Diego and Singapore also have international fame.